Travel to China

Are you considering, or already planning, a trip to China? For adoptive families and adoptees who wish to travel apart from an organized heritage tour, Holt recommends contacting Lotus Tours at for assistance with orphanage, visa, and travel information.  Lotus Tours specializes in travel to Asia and assisting with heritage tours. Due to limited resources and staffing we are unable to assist with travel at this time. We appreciate your understanding.

To learn more about Holt’s annual Family Tour click here. Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to travel with other families and adoptees!

Things to Consider When Traveling…


Where They Once Called Home : Insights into Homeland Tours – If you’re considering, or planning, a trip to your child’s birth country, many factors other than just travel influence how the trip goes. Hear directly from adopted persons and parents who have experienced homeland tours. They will share their personal experiences and feelings from preparation to the lasting impact of their travels.

From Home to HomelandIs Your Family Ready for a Homeland Journey? by Colleen Calvani

Planning a Homeland Visit: A Professional’s Perspective  by Judy Stigger, LCSW

Culture Smart! by Kuperard Press – This wonderful series has books for many countries that are easily portable, informative and reasonably priced. Available in Kindle and paperback.

Below you can check out some stories from adoptees and families who have traveled on Holt’s tour to China in the previous few years. If you would be interested in writing for Holt about your tour experiences, please let us know!Annabel Meets Her Foster Mom

Grace’s China Blog

Grace’s China Blog – Coming Back Home

A Visit to My Orphanage

A Return Home – A Known and Unknown Journey

Lifelong Memories, Lifetime Friends from Innovative Language Learning Solutions – Learn essential travel phrases, cultural insights and travel tips for 20 different languages.Tips for Traveling Abroad – The U.S. Department of State offers tips, programs and lists for anyone considering travel outside of the U.S.


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Should you have the opportunity to visit your foster family, your orphanage or other care facilities, you will need to understand the Chinese culture. Occasionally the staff at these locations may appear to be cool, overly factual or unsympathetic. This is simply a cultural difference, a perception based on  American cultural norms. In general, you will find the Chinese people to be a warm, generous and understanding people. In a business setting, such as a visit to an office or tour of a facility, they may not show the warmth or concern you might expect. Again, this is simply a cultural difference.

Getting Around

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If you are planning to visit a specific location without the aid of your travel agent or Chinese guide, ask the front desk of your hotel to write the destination, address and phone number on a small card to give to your taxi driver, or to get help from a policeman or shopkeeper.  Always keep a card showing your hotel’s name, address and phone number whenever you leave the building, preferably in both languages.  The front desk of your hotel can also help you with this.


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Even though you may not be traveling with an organized tour group, there are still a lot of tours available through your travel agent or your hotel.  If possible, reserve a few tours before you travel; you won’t want to spend all of your time in China making arrangements.


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It is appropriate to take small gifts when meeting foster parents, staying with friends or visiting someone who has made special time just for you. Consider packing items made in your hometown, such as note cards by a local artist, candles, lotions or something that represents your family or town.

After Returning Home

Let us know about your experience, including what went well and what didn’t. Did your trip meet your expectations? Did it raise questions you hadn’t considered before? Follow-up can be an important part of the experience, and will help you sort out everything you saw and heard, especially if you met with foster family or visited your orphanage. Holt’s post adoption team is here to help you process your feelings, and to find answers to questions whenever possible. Please feel free to contact us any time before, during or after you trip.